Before this test we thought more travel on an e-bike would obviously be better. After all, with the motor flattening out the climbs, why not have the extra suspension firepower to smooth out the descents? Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? But in the case of the Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert, the extra travel and weight make the bike less effective and less engaging on all but full-on downhill tracks. And if that’s your bread and butter, the Kenevo could well be the perfect topping. Here in the UK though, the Vitus proved more versatile, just as capable and way better value.
Electric mountain bikes have gained a lot of attention for their ability to help riders go higher, further, and faster on the trail. Several impressive new eMTB models have hit the market in recent years, making it easier than ever to head off-road. Our favorite is the Haibike SDURO HardNine, which comes equipped with a 350-watt Bosch Performance CX drive and a 500 watt-hour battery. This gives it a range of up to 70 miles, along with a top speed of 20 mph, which is plenty fast on singletrack.
There is no suspension, so the fat bike is not ideal for downhill. Also, you will feel more shocks than usual while doing large drops or crossing big tree roots. The fat tires are helpful for keeping it accurate and quick on sand and snow but don’t run it on ice. The tires simply don’t have enough traction to stay steady on ice. Studded tires may solve the problem but the safer option to steer clear of icy tracks.
Electric bicycles offer the same great benefits as traditional bicycles and remove many of the roadblocks and challenges that people face with traditional pedal-powered bikes. With help of an electric motor you can get where you need to be faster, climb hills effortlessly and significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Also e-bikes don’t require registration, license plates, or insurance. So how come the electric bikes are have not taken over the world by now? The real problem—even now that e-bikes have been available for years—is cost.
Specialized has e-bikes figured out. Its e-bikes are better looking and better sorted than almost anything else. This Turbo Levo has a clean interface: just a mode switch and a few LEDs for status. To dig deeper, you use Specialized’s Misson Control app, which lets the user customize the motor’s tune, and has a clever Smart Control mode. This mode lets the rider set and time or distance, and the amount of reserve they want to be left over. The app then automatically adjusts the motor’s output to meet those settings, reducing battery anxiety. The custom motor is extremely smooth and quiet, with awesome torque. We found the highest mode too powerful for finesse riding, but great for flying up smooth climbs and cutting time off transfers. The e-bike tuned RockShox fork is somewhat harsh, but the rest of the parts are excellent and suit the bike’s capabilities—something we can’t say that about every e-bike.
This bike comes in black, white or tan and is the only compact folding hunting eBike of the list. It’s lightweight and compact folding size makes extremely easy to take with you, stick it in the boot of the car and pull it out when you’re ready to enter woods to reach your blind or stand. It has 20” wheels compared to the standard 26” that the other full size eBikes use.
To help the rider find the perfect fit, the stem is adjustable. The bike also boasts dynamo powered lights alongside hydraulic disc brakes. The bike will suit riders from 4 ft 10 to 6 ft 5, and also integrates with a child seat. The total weight is 22.5kg, making it admittedly a fairly hefty folder – but that’s fairly uniform across electric versions.
Thanks for your excellent article. I’ve been riding ebike for about 16 years. My first electric bike was a Meridian pedal assist bike. I just up graded to a new bike. I’m 73, so I wanted a pedal assist bike that had a throttle. I researched for several months and bought what I think is the best bike for the money. It’s a Rad Rover 2017 fat bike. It has a 750 watt mother with a 48 volt 11.6 amp battery. It’s a fantastic bike, that is a lot of fun to ride. You might want to check it out and add it to your list of bikes. Rad Rover also make a city commuter bike, a cargo bike and a folding bike. You can’t beat their price for a quality bike. Thanks again for both of your articles. They were very informative.
When you need a great electric mountain bike that will assure you of a longer runtime, you need to get this. The Cyclamatic Power Plus Electric bike comes with a powerful 36V lithium-ion battery. This works for up to 28 miles range; hence very convenient. Besides this, the e-bike also has a stylish design, which makes it ideal for riders. It can be used by 14 years and above. The bike also has large wheels, which makes it move with a lot of ease. It can maneuver easily on all terrains to assure you of an excellent and smooth ride.
A durable Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame that fully encases a long-range 500Wh battery for great aesthetics and ride quality on the trail, a Bosch Performance CX motor and an ergonomic Purion controller. Plus, 130mm front and rear travel with a RockShox Revelation RL fork, grippy 27.5+ mid-fat tires, Tubeless Ready Bontrager Line Comp wheels with a 54-tooth Rapid Drive hub, a dropper post, and an 11-speed Shimano SLX/XT drivetrain.
After that, changes mostly come down to purpose. Moterra riders have 160mm of travel, 29-inch wheels and "beefier" components, with the descent-focused Moterra SE packs a 180mm fork, a Super Deluxe Piggyback Shock and stickier Maxxis Assegai tires. You won't have quite as rough a ride down the hill, then. The Habit NEO shares the same wheel size, but switches to 140mm front and 130mm rear suspension to make it nimbler. All of the new bikes tout carbon fiber frames and a "proportional response" suspension that changes with the size of the frame.
Despite it's prodigious descending talents the short (426mm) chainstays make tight corners and lifting the front end easy. That also makes flying through flow trails and popping off rocks a staple of the Altitude's arsenal. With uncompromised suspension and geometry, a powerful motor and big battery, and excellent trail manners, the Rocky offers a compellingly unique e-package that performs well in all situations.
With most ebikes the choice of motor defines aspects of the frame geometry and to a lesser degree the suspension characteristics of the bike. Not with new Rock Mountain Altitude Powerplay. With its bespoke motor Rocky has been able to design an ebike that reflects the ride quality of a highly evolved 150mm trail bike. With instant power pickup, extended battery life and streamline proportions it’s not just the handling of the Rocky that will get you charged up for riding. It’s the best bike in this test by some margin, but we had an issue with the motor momentarily cutting and raising questions over it’s reliability.